Board of Advisors

Board Members

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Henry B. Mathia Jr.

As a youth coming up under his father’s wings, striving for excellence in life endeavors has always been the standards set by Henry Sr. Henry jr. started his academic career by attending BO School, a top-ranked competitive boarding school in Sierra Leone. As a young adult in the United States, he enrolled in the U.S. military active duty and has served multiple tours prior and during his naval reserves status. After serving his full active duty term he was accepted to the University of Saint Thomas in Minnesota where he graduated with honors in criminal justice. If you know Henry like his family does, you’ll know that he goes by “big junior” because he takes his gym workouts serious and he is quite big. If you know him like his family does you would know as the elder of his brothers and sisters he sets the ultimate standard for being a productive member to society, and he never misses to give a birthday, mother’s day, or Christmas day gift to his family and friends. Today he still remains in the naval reserves and has been over 15 years, and has continued to serve in the criminal justice sector in bettering our communities for the greater good. We’re honored to have him on our advisory board. 

Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson

Born in Springfield, IL, Andrew has been one of the original supporters of our first sister website murhero.com which has now expanded into murherofoundation.org. He helped shape some of the original ideas of the organization to come to life today. He moved to Minnesota in 2005 to study Music Production at McNally Smith College of Music. After a few years of owning a recording studio and touring the country playing music, he decided to take up a career in real estate. Andrew is now a realtor for Century 21. With Andrew’s combination of creativity, thoughtfulness, and drive, we’re honored to have him serve on our board.

 

Sheila

Sheila Podtburg

Born and raised in rural Minnesota, she moved to Minneapolis upon acceptance into the University of Minnesota where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Geography. She is currently with Royal Credit Union as a Mortgage Underwriter and has been with the company for approximately 4 years. If you ask Sheila who is the love of her life, she would tell you her 4 year old son Shujaa (who is the biggest fan of anything Paw Patrol). She also plays bassoon in Silver Lakes Symphonic Winds, a community band which helps raise scholarship money for high school students pursuing a degree in fine arts. We’re honored to have her on our advisory board.

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Gasumu Lahai

Gassumu is a prime example of what we want the students we’re sponsoring in Sierra Leone to strive to become in society. A native from Freetown, SL himself, grew up in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area in the beginning of his adolescense. The humble beginnings started at High Point High School and Buck Lodge Middle School where he first met our founder and they became friends ever since. With hard work and dedication, he graduated at UIW Feik School of Pharmacy with a doctorate degree, and currently works as a pharmacist for CVS Pharmacy in Houston, Texas.

“As a pharmacist, I intend to continue devoting my time and energies to community service and other philanthropic endeavors, both in the U.S. and abroad. My goals in the US include: to open my own community pharmacy, assisting the underserved in my area, as well as a non-profit designed to raise health awareness, make it possible for the less fortunate to obtain treatment and medications and provide scholarships and grants to students interested in pharmaceutical careers. I also plan to work with transnational organizations, indigenous elements and like-minded healthcare professionals to make vital medications available to Sierra Leone’s poorest and most neglected citizens and drawing on the “Doctors Without Borders” model to harness the dedication of pharmacists the world over to serve the developing nations.”

Dr. Lahai have been a strong support with respect to generating ideas of how the organization can gain financial support to be able to sustain its mission. Additionally, he’s part of a small group of investors who seek out business owners or new business ideas and invest in the growth or startup of these individual entities. Today, he’s a family man thriving and aspiring to inspiring others. As a young boy he came from extreme underdeveloped circumstances in Africa, to have internalized his ambition through education and taken advantage of opportunities makes him an extraordinary person.

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Chimezie "Mac" Akaya

“Mac” is what most of his friends call him. His positive and genuine attitude towards others should be exemplified and idolized by our up-and-coming youth. Port Harcourt, Nigeria is the hometown of Mac. He relocated to the United States as an international student to study Electrical Engineering at Minnesota State University, Mankato. It was not an easy transition to attend college in the U.S., as he had to work hard to pay for his own full-time tuition. He graduated in 2013 with an Electrical Engineering degree and is currently a Project Engineer at EnerSys, a global leader in batteries for aerospace and defense applications. You can find Mac in the scenic, mile high city of Denver, Colorado living with his beautiful wife Amy Akaya. Our organization is pleased have Mr. Akaya as one of our advisors serving the foundation.

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Francis Gedang

Mr. Gedang has provided continued moral support from the initial stages of the organization when we transitioned from murhero.com to murherofoundation.org. As a close friend to the founder, he continues to provide rich information and insights that contributes to the development of our foundation. With the organization’s recent 501c (3) tax status granted, he remains committed to the cause by advocating our vision through multiple platforms and by offering his time for volunteerism. Francis, a native of Manila-Philippines. Spent his teenage years in St. Paul, Minnesota. Attended Century College and Minnesota State University, Mankato in pursuit of Information technology and Civil Engineering. He’s currently the Building Mechanic at Pioneer Endicott, and lives with spouse Lupita Gedang. The couple are happily married with their new twin boys (August & Antonio) living in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Alicious H. Mathia, Founder & Chair

Freetown, Sierra Leone was his birthplace, Ghana is where his mother’s side of the family is from with grandfather from Nigeria. After spending some of his childhood in Sierra Leone, Alicious grew up in in DC-Maryland and Minnesota. In Maryland he went to Bucklodge middle school and Highpoint high school until the 10th grade. In 2000 the family relocated to Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota where he finished high school at Tartan high school. In 2012 graduated with a B.S Economics degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato where the original idea for Murhero Foundation Inc. derived, which was and still is Murhero.com. Those who know him know that he’s a positive, calm-collected guy and to good extent naturally reserved but can be outgoing and fun to be around. Growing up he admired businessmen like Sean Combs, Bill Gates, and Russell Simons. Following similar footsteps, he’s an aspiring businessperson and philanthropist. In his own words when asked what made him create the foundation, “The idea came to me in college. It came naturally really, being that I was born and spent some of my childhood in a underdeveloped country, I know how scarce opportunities can be for kids with smarts and the drive to achieve.  So I wanted to be part of a project that contributed to that end, that spoke volume about who I am, and just use my fortunate upbringing here in the U.S and just trying to pay it forward to some of those unfortunate youth that I once was.” He recently completed his Master’s of Business (MBA), quantitative analysis concentrate in June of 2016 at SNHU. Enjoys photography, playing basketball, golf, and a fan of the Twins and Ravens. A fun-fact about Alicious is that he once wanted to rap in his teens, but as you can imagine books got in the way instead.

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